Centre for Clinical Treatment Research

Planned

Please note: you must have submitted a mandatory project outline before you can submit a complete application for funding for a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research.

This call for proposals may be subject to revision until March 24. It will be possible to create and submit grant applications from that date and up to the submission deadline. If the call is revised, we will provide notification here.

Purpose

A research centre is a targeted, long-term investment to strengthen and further develop outstanding and creative research and innovation groups, or to build up research groups in areas of key strategic importance.

The overall objective of a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research is to establish clinical research groups that help to improve treatments for Norwegian patients by way of outstanding research.

Important dates

06 Jan 2021

Deadline for submitting the mandatory project outline

24 Mar 2021

Date call is made active

12 May 2021

Application submission deadline

01 Jan 2022

Earliest permitted project start

01 Apr 2022

Latest permitted project start

31 Mar 2030

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates

About the call for proposals

You must have submitted a mandatory project outline by the deadline 6 January 2021 to submit a complete application for funding for a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research (FKB).

The Research Council aims to start up two to three new Centres for Clinical Treatment Research in 2022. 

Applicants must familiarise themselves with the grounds for the call by reading the following documents:

The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Only applicants who have submitted a mandatory project outline by the deadline of 6 January 2021 are eligible to apply. Applications that are not based on such a project outline will be rejected.
  • Approved Norwegian research organisations in binding cooperation with relevant actors and with access to patients may apply.
  • Other research organisations may participate as research partners.
  • The centre must have user partners in the form of actors from outside the research sector e.g. industry, public entities or non-profit organisations.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have authorised the submission of the grant application to the Research Council. The application must be aligned with the Project Owner’s strategies.

Requirements relating to the project manager
A referee panel will assess the project manager’s professional expertise and suitability to carry out the project. Experience of managing large, complex projects must be documented.

Requirements relating to partners

  • Partners may be research organisations, relevant user partners in the Norwegian public sector and/or industry and civil society.
  • The centre must involve patients and/or patient organisations as users.
  • The grant application must describe how the project incorporates the objectives of all the partners.
  • All partners must actively contribute to planning and following up the project (or research) and disseminating the centre’s results. Partners must ensure that the knowledge generated is utilised.

The centre may have foreign partners, and it must be documented how these will contribute to reaching the centre’s goals.

What can you seek funding for?

Scope of funding

  • You can apply for a maximum of NOK 160 million distributed over an eight-year period. The funding for the last three years will be decided on the basis of the outcome of a mid-term evaluation of the centre.
  • The center can apply to the Research Council for NOK 12-20 million per year.
  • The Research Council can cover up to 50 per cent of the centre’s costs. Overall, the Project Owner and partners must cover at least 50 per cent of the centre’s total costs.
  • You can apply for funding to cover the actual costs necessary to carry out the project. Read more about what to enter in the project budget on the Research Council’s website.
  • State aid will not be granted through the centre schemes.
  • Stays abroad for doctoral and post-doctoral fellows must be covered within the framework of the project. FKBs will therefore not be covered by the Research Council’s call for Funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows.

Conditions for funding
The Research Council will not award support that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that Research Council funding is only to go to the non-economic activity of the research organisations in the form of independent research. 

The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities. Companies will not be eligible to receive support to cover projects costs and may not receive indirect support by being given rights to project results under favourable terms.

The project is to be implemented by means of effective collaboration as defined in the state aid rules:

Collaboration between at least two independent parties to exchange knowledge or technology, or to achieve a common objective based on the division of labour, where the parties jointly define the scope of the collaborative project, contribute to its implementation and share its risks, as well as its results. One or several parties may bear the full costs of the project and thus relieve other parties of its financial risks. Contract research and provision of research services are not considered forms of collaboration.

Medical and health-related studies involving human participants
For medical and health-related studies involving human participants, the Research Council stipulates special requirements and guidelines for prospective registration of studies and disclosure of results.

Archiving of research data

The Project Owner (research organisation) is responsible for selecting which archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

The overall objective of this call is to establish clinical research groups that help to improve treatments for Norwegian patients by way of outstanding research. For more detailed information, see Information for applicants for a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research (link to the document under the section ‘About the call for proposals’ above).

Health

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Applications must be created and submitted via My RCN Web. You may revise and resubmit your grant application form multiple times up to the application submission deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have filled in the application form and included all mandatory attachments. After the deadline, it is the most recently submitted version of the grant application that will be processed.

  • The application and all attachments must be submitted in English.
  • All mandatory attachments must be included.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
  • Requirements relating to the Project Owner (research organisation) must be satisfied.
  • Requirements relating to the partners must be satisfied.

Mandatory attachments

  • Project description of up to 15 pages in length. The project description must use the designated template, which is available for download at the end of the call.
  • CV of the project manager (centre director) and other key personnel/work package managers in the project of up to four pages each, using the designated template at the end of the call. 
  • Letter of intent from the host institution
  • Letter of intent from all registered partners.

Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected.

Optional attachment
Proposals for up to five referees who are considered qualified to assess the application.

We will not assess documents and websites linked to in the application, or other attachments than those specified above. There is no technical validation of the content of uploaded attachments, so please ensure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

Assessment criteria

Applications submitted for this call will be assessed on the basis of the three main criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation. 

Excellence

The extent to which the centre is ambitious, innovative and advances the research front
• Assess scientific creativity and originality.
• The extent to which hypotheses and research questions are innovative and courageous.
• The extent to which the centre has the potential to generate new knowledge that advances the research front, including significant development/renewal of theories, methods, experiments or empirical knowledge.

The quality of the centre's R&D activities
• Assess the quality of research questions, hypotheses and project objectives, and the extent to which they are clearly described.
• The extent to which the theoretical approach, research design and choice of methods are credible and appropriate, and interdisciplinary perspectives are sufficiently considered.
• The extent to which research conducted at the centre takes sufficient consideration of social responsibility, ethical issues and gender dimensions.
• The extent to which the centre satisfactorily addresses users/stakeholders’ knowledge.

Impact

Potential impacts of the proposed research
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results can contribute to addressing important scientific challenges, both now and going forward.
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results can address important challenges in the sector(s), both now and going forward.
• The extent to which competence building and the centre's planned results will form the basis for value creation in the Norwegian business and/or public sector.
• The extent to which the centre describes impacts that constitute added value from organising a major research initiative as a research centre.
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results are relevant to the UN Sustainable Development Goals or have the potential to address other important societal challenges, both now and going forward.
• The extent to which the potential impacts are clearly formulated and credible.

Communication and utilisation
• Assess the quality and scope of communication and involvement activities targeting relevant stakeholders/users.
• The extent to which partners are involved in the work of utilising the centre's results.

Implementation

Quality of the project manager (centre director) and project group
• The extent to which the project manager (centre director) has relevant expertise and experience and is qualified to lead an initiative of this scale.
• The extent to which the project participants complement one another, and the project group has the necessary expertise to effectively implement the centre initiative.

The quality of the centre’s organisation and management
• The extent to which the centre will be efficiently organised, including whether the resources allocated to the different work packages are sufficient and in accordance with the centre’s objectives and deliveries.
• The extent to which the centre's tasks are distributed in a way that ensures all project participants have a clear role and sufficient resources to fulfil that role.
• The extent to which the management and governance of the centre are expediently organised, including risk and innovation management.
• The extent to which the partners contribute to the management and implementation of the centre.

The quality and extent of international cooperation
• The extent to which the scope and quality of international collaborative activities are in keeping with the centre's objectives.

Gender balance in the centre’s project group
• If the gender balance in the centre's management team (centre manager and research managers) is poor, the extent to which the centre have an expedient plan in place to support the development of researcher talents of the under-represented gender to qualify for senior-level positions?

Relevance to the call for proposals

The extent to which the project satisfies the guidelines and stipulations set out in the call for proposals.

The Research Council will also assess the applications’ relevance in relation to the requirements and guidelines set out in the call, and in particular that the application:

  • Is in keeping with the primary objectives of a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research
  • Includes the use of existing health and personal data
  • Includes non-university hospitals where relevant
  • Has clear plans for how patients across Norway will be included in the studies
  • Has clear plans for how the centre will profile itself in Norway and abroad, both in relation to further external financing and participation in international studies
  • Clearly outlines the added value generated from the centre, including demonstrating how it complements or builds on other established centres or large-scale programmes

Where applicants are otherwise equally qualified, the Research Council will prioritise applications with women centre directors and centres with good female representation in leading positions.

Administrative procedures

After receiving the applications, the Research Council will carry out a preliminary administrative review to check that all formal requirements have been satisfied. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements will be rejected.

Each application will be assessed by a panel comprising at least three international experts from outside Norway suited to the application’s thematic area. The referee panel (one referee panel per application) will assess the three criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation, and will assign a consensus-based mark for each of these criteria.

After the panel has completed its assessment, the Research Council will conduct an assessment of the relevance criterion. Only applications that were awarded the mark of 5 or better by the referee panel will be assessed for the relevance criterion.

The overall mark awarded to the application is based on the relevance criterion and the referee panel’s assessment. The overall mark is calculated on the basis of the average of the four criteria without weighting.

A committee comprising international scientific experts and user representatives will then rank the applications based on the overall mark and their own assessment. The applicant, represented by the proposed centre manager, may be called in for an interview in connection with the committee’s meeting. Centres eligible for funding must conduct research at a high international level that aims to improve treatments and generate other benefits for patients.

The portfolio board for Health will make the final decision on allocation.